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A club sandwich, quartered and laid on edge for an attractive presentation

A sandwich in the strictest sense is the name given to a popular food item consisting of one or more fillings (such as meat, cheese, or vegetables) placed between two slices of bread. The beauty of the sandwich is that it is not only portable - it can be taken and consumed anywhere, from the table to the car to the work place - but the possibilities for fillings are almost endless, with the bread keeping the mess contained.


Bread is among mankind's oldest prepared foods, and doubtless it was combined with meats, stews, or other foods among many peoples and cultures worldwide, including as a means of containing and holding the other items. It is known that the pita - a type of bread with origins in the Middle East - had then as now an ability to form a pocket when baked, which would be filled with meat, vegetables, and sauces to suit the consumer. In pre-Columbian Mexico the tortilla was the staple bread, and often wrapped around other added ingredients.

The name "sandwich" came into vogue for this portable food during the 18th century, when John Montagu, a aristocratic British national and supposedly a very passionate card player who, according to the tradition, did not have time to eat after an hours-long game. Rather than get his cards greasy, Montagu had put a slice of salted beef between two bread slices, on which fellow players also requested "to have the same as Sandwich",[1] in reference to Montagu's title as the 4th Earl of Sandwich. In 1765 a biographer of Montagu's rejected the gaming description and declared that it was much more likely that he had invented the sandwich in order not to interrupt his work at the desk.

Sandwiches are mentioned in the English literature from about 1760 onwards, initially as a snack at nightly men's societies. In the 19th century the sandwich became a popular intermediate meal, especially during tea. Moreover, it was in any case a typical English picnic and was considered the best food for rail travel, and still often offered on trains and on airplanes today. In response to the abstinence movement in England, local people began to serve a sandwich free of charge instead of alcoholic beverages to attract customers. One variation is the American Club Sandwich, which was offered to members in private clubs as a snack.

Image Sandwich Remarks
Fried or grilled patty of ground beef, placed within a sliced bun. Originating with a style of cooked beef in Hamburg, Germany, the hamburger as we know it is based off several competing claims around the turn of the 20th century, with the most likely inventor a Danish immigrant named Louis Lassen in New Haven, Connecticut in 1900.[2][3] Since then the hamburger and its variants - thanks to fast food restaurants - has become one of the largest-selling and most recognizable sandwiches worldwide.[4][5]
Split long roll, filled with meats, vegetables, cheese and condiments. Variously known as "hoagie", "grinder", "hero", "wedge" and others, the submarine had its origins with the Italian immigrant communities in the northeastern United States prior to 1900.[6][7]
Sloppy Joe
A loose mixture of fried ground beef, tomato-based sauces, onions and other seasonings, placed within a sliced bun. A sandwich meant to be a mess, the Sloppy Joe was the creation of a cook named Joe, in Sioux City, Iowa, about 1930, with the name possibly coming from a Key West, Florida bar that originally had no connection to the sandwich.[8]
Shrimp PoBoy.jpg
A Louisiana staple, usually consisting of roast beef or fried seafood, set within a sliced New Orleans baguette. It originated with the "poor boys" of the French Quarter; depending on the story they were either dockyard workers and farmers or strikers around 1929.[9][10]
PBJ sandwich.jpg
Peanut butter and jelly
Peanut butter spread over a slice of bread, covered with fruit jelly or preserves, then topped with a second bread slice. Popular as a children's snack, the PB&J was written about as early as 1901.[11]
Hot sandwich consisting of corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, Russian dressing, served between two slices of rye bread. The Reuben and its variants trace their origins to Arnold Reuben's delicatessen in New York City, ca. 1914.
Philly cheesesteak
Thin slices of fried beef steak, onions, and melted cheese, served within a long roll. Pat and Harry Oliveri are credited with creating this popular regional sandwich in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in the 1930s.[12]
Simple sandwich made with small amount of meat, lettuce and/or tomato, and cheese, within two slices of white bread, and usually served cut in half or quartered. It originated with the social clubs of the northeastern United States starting in 1894.[13]
Simple sandwich made with bacon, lettuce, and tomato, and served within two slices of toasted white bread. A type of club sandwich that may have been made prior to 1900, the BLT as it is called was referenced ca. 1920.[14]
Very tall sandwich to the point of being almost impossible to eat; filled with one to several kinds of meat, vegetables, condiments, and additional slices of bread. The 1936 creation of Chic Young for his comic strip Blondie, it was the snack of choice for his character Dagwood Bumstead.[15]


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